Getting It Right (Blog Feature)
Temples — April 1, 2014
Today’s Getting It Right features Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple coverage and a Real Clear Religion essay about how Mormonism is a multicultural and inclusive faith.
Coverage of the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple Open House
Several news outlets in Florida have provided thoughtful reporting on the Fort Lauderdale Florida Mormon Temple, which opened its doors for free public tours last week.
Among the reports, a Local 10 news story correctly says, “Mormons believe that temples are the most sacred places on earth.” A WLRN radio story mentions that this temple will serve the Church’s multilingual membership in the area (which includes Portuguese, Creole, English and Spanish speakers). And the Miami Herald reports that Mormon temples are not used for regular Sunday worship services, but rather for sacred rites such as marriage.
Plans to construct the Fort Lauderdale Temple were first announced in October 2009. The temple will serve approximately 25,000 Church members from congregations in south Florida.
- Fort Lauderdale Florida Mormon Temple Opens to Visitors (includes interior and exterior temple photos)
- Of Chapels and Temples: Explaining Mormon Worship Services
Real Clear Religion: Mormonism Is a Cosmopolitan, Inclusive Faith
In an essay for Real Clear Religion, Mormon author Betsy VanDenBerghe explains that Latter-day Saints — especially those in Utah — are more cosmopolitan and inclusive than some might think.
For proof, she points to such things as Mormon missionary service (her missionary-serving siblings “not only exposed us to Thai food before it became trendy, but to visitors from Italy, Norway, and Southeast Asia”), international Mormon neighbors who moved to Utah after joining the Church, and the common influence of pop culture (“the sixties, the Beatles, the Vietnam draft, Carter-era stagflation, Cold War fears, and disco all made their way into our lives, just like everyone else’s”).
VanDenBerghe confesses that social “bubbles” certainly exist among Mormons and can cause outsiders to feel isolated, but she quotes former Church president Gordon B. Hinckley’s (1910-2008) encouragement to Latter-day Saints to “‘set aside any element of suspicion, of provincialism, of parochialism” because they can cause others to feel invisible and neglected.
The key, VanDenBerghe says, is to “widen your religious circle to include what’s good on the outside, bringing it into your enclave and taking your faith with you into the vastness.”